A no-deal Brexit will not excuse Britain of its previously-agreed upon financial obligations to the European Union, Brussels has cautioned. London has signaled that it will pay only a fraction of the ‘divorce bill’ from the EU.
All commitments taken by EU member states “should be honored,” European Commission spokeswoman Mina Andreeva said on Monday, adding that this is “especially true” in a no-deal scenario where the UK agreed to specific terms during EU membership.
She said that the EU wanted to avoid a threat of “judicial action,” and believed that “settling accounts is essential to starting of a new relationship on the right foot, based on mutual trust.”
Her remarks come a day after British Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced that the UK would not have to pay the £39 billion ($47.7 billion) fee promised by the former government under Theresa May in the case of a ‘hard’ Brexit.
The UK is planning to only pay somewhere between £7-9 billion ($8.6-$11.05 billion) if they leave the EU on October 31 without a deal, according to reports.Johnson said that money saved would go towards “supporting our farmers… and indeed for investment in all sorts of areas.”
Johnson has side-stepped questions about whether he formally told European Council President Donald Tusk about his decision during a meeting on the sidelines of the G7 summit in France. Brussels says it yet to be notified about London’s new position.